5 Reasons Websites are Still Super Important

Your Website is Your Home on The Web

Image via Shutterstock.com

The web changes quickly. In the last few years we’ve seen huge changes in the way people access the web, and how businesses, artists, and authors use the web to their advantage. Everybody (and their mother)  knows that social media is the hottest thing since hot lava, that mobile and tablet browsing is the here and now, and that apps and social media sites are the new websites.

Screeeeeeeeeeech! <–In case you’re wondering, that’s the sound of a needle scratching across a vinyl record.

You know that last thing I said–about social media and mobile apps taking the place of websites? That was a fib. I made it up. But sometimes it feels like many artists and small business owners think this way.

I’ll hear an artist say, “I don’t need a website. I’ve got a Facebook page, or Twitter, or Tumblr account.”

If you want to be taken seriously online, this is the wrong kind of thinking. And can hurt you down the line. Owning a domain name and a website that you call home is the most important part of establishing a web presence. Can you think a successful business that doesn’t have a website? There are probably some examples out there, but these businesses are probably not all that concerned with building an online reputation, while YOU, most likely, are.

Here are my top 5 reasons that building a home on the web matters NOW more than ever

1.Domain equity and search rankings

It takes time to earn traffic online. It can take years to establish optimal rankings in search engines. And Google likes websites and domains that have been around a while. Don’t expect to launch a new website and suddenly get handed a bucket full of relevant traffic form Google–it wont happen. But if you build a website that grows and matures along with your brand over time, you will gain an incremental increase in traffic from search engines. Sure, your Facebook or Twitter page may rank well on some search terms, but what happens when everybody leaves Facebook and goes somewhere else? Registering your domain name and starting your website now, is always better than later.

2. Having your own website means: You’re the boss

Social networks add-and-remove features all the time. They change designs, and make seemingly absurd changes in order to get more advertising dollars. All this can hurt your web presence and alienate fans. With your own website: you call the shots. You make the changes. You decide on the design.

3. Your website is a storefront

Before the internet (barring the occasional traveling salesman) you needed a physical storefront in order to sell something to the public. Even if you were selling merch at an event, you need to set up a table and be able to process transactions, etc.

The advantage of having a storefront is that people always know where to go to buy your stuff. And once a customer has been to your store, they generally know how to find their way back. It’s very similar online. If I want to buy something from Target, I go to target.com. It’s an easy storefront to remember. If I want to buy something from Amazon, I go to amazon.com. I wouldn’t go to Target’s Facebook page or Amazon’s Twitter page to buy socks. It wouldn’t make sense. Social networks and websites serve different purposes and that’s a good thing.

4. Apps will not replace websites

Smart phone apps are HUGE right? Seems like everybody is trying to cash in on the mobile app gold-rush these days. I know I’ve probably downloaded hundreds of apps since I first purchased a smartphone. It seems like people use apps more than they use the internet these days. Is it possible that apps are the new websites?

In a word: no.

Apps are utilities. They are designed to make our life easier and more fun. And if they’re worth their salt they probably cost thousands of man hours to produce.

A website is different. A website is not a utility, novelty, or a game. A website is a place of business. A website is where you communicate with your customers, grow your fan base, and sell your wares. Sure you could build a iPhone app that does most of these things, but your business would be confined to Apple’s rules and ecosystem.  And then you’d need to build an android app, an iPad app, a desktop app and who knows what else to ensure you reach all your customers.

Websites are designed to be accessible by all devices and that’s reason enough right there.

5. A real website is the first step towards legitimacy

It’s true. A well designed website makes you look like you know what you’re doing.  It will give journalists, bloggers, and other people in your industry a sense that you’re serious about what you do. It’ll show you care enough to put a little money and time into what you’re passionate about.

What are your thoughts on the importance of having your own website? Let us know in the comments below:

Build a awesome website with HostBaby today!

 

Downdload free guide: 10 website optimization tips

6 comments to 5 Reasons Websites are Still Super Important

  • Honestly, I don’t see the point of a website for MANY (not all) musicians – because between the ReverbNation widgets and the Facebook band profile, everything that they need to do PLUS fan interaction, they can do on Facebook. A website is just another layer that they have to pay for (musicians are often stretched pretty thin) and maintain. Now, just having a Facebook page (or just having a website, for that matter) isn’t enough. You have to INTERACT with your fans there, attract new audiences, and sell your music and your merchandise. Nothing irks me more than seeing a band’s Facebook page and the ONLY stuff posted there is “we have a show this Saturday, please come out and support local music”. blah blah. Well, one other thing irks me almost as much – it’s going to a band (or any other business) website and seeing “news” and the last article is 6 months old. Now, that’s not to say that you should NOT have a website either. However, let’s put the correct order on things. First – form a band. Make great music. Then – build your ReverbNation profile and create a Facebook page and connect the two. Build a fan base. Talk to your fans. Get gigs. Get a following. Get a little cash positive. By now, you’ll have smoothed out your music, and you’re performing like a well-oiled machine. Now you’re ready to expand into new markets. Maybe – NOW is the time to get a website. BUT if you do, make sure you make it professional looking, and keep it updated.

  • Jmmi Ritz Reitzler

    Yes if you have a Web Page thats a Good thing,But the thing I find with my web page (and yes its with hostbaby)It just seems like all the apps are harder to add then on other site like Reverbnation.Hostbaby needs to remember that there working with Music people (not web artist).Jimmi Ritz Reitzler or http://www.jimmiritzreitzler.com

  • The difference between having your own website and having only your Facebook, ReverbNation etc. Pages is like living in your own home – or living at guest houses, cultural centers, community houses and such, where you never know for how long can you stay, when will they change the rules that tell you what are you allowed to do in your room and in the common areas, or when the house will close down… (Facebook is already going down, did you notice?)

    I can’t be grateful enough to HostBaby for providing my online home for more than a half decade now <3
    I didn't know a darn about what to do anything with a website – but I already loved and enjoyed creating it from the first moment. There are points where I could still improve it, but constantly getting compliments on my site :-)

    And more importantly: it has been always my website and not other music pages where I got the big business! Downloads and so on by Facebook fans are nice, but well paid festivals and other serious stuff are only coming through my website.

    So I totally agree with the article.
    The right sequence is: 1. GET A WEBSITE WITH YOUR OWN DOMAIN. 2. Everything else that you do online. Chose whatever strategies fit you.
    Since a while I am studying online marketing from various sources, but haven't run into any super successful gurus who will tell you otherwise.

    Cheers, The Queen of
    http://www.andreagerak.com :-)

  • you are very right, Nina, one has to interact with the fans. One beauty for having your website and your email list is that YOU determine how you communicate with them and nobody will filter your messages (as Facebook does for example, they are arbitrarily blocking one of my blogs). AND: as soon as something happens with Facebook – there goes your fan list, you have no way to contact them!

    Next: I do know, what does it mean to be on a tight budget, I can relate to that. But a musician who is serious about his or her career, can decide what is more important: spending 20 bucks on one meal at McDonald’s + a pack of Marlboro, – or paying the website hosting for a month. Grab your guitar and go out in the street, you make that $20 in no time.

    Another point why I think the right sequence is to get your website first: I have NEVER, EVER heard anyone asking me: “Have you got your ReverbNation/Facebook page?”, when I met someone and they found out I was a singer. Strangely enough, they would all ask: “Have you got a website?”…

    (No, I am not getting any commissions or other perks from HostBaby for talking others into signing up with them :-) )

  • Thanks Andrea! You’re the best!

  • Busta Browne

    Nice!! i like that point ‘Drea!! Facebook and ReverbNation is like a nice hotel or guest room but a website is like owning a home and you are in control.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>